Berlin (dpa) – The new National Gallery in Berlin is making an impressive comeback on the international museum scene. After years of renovation behind closed doors, the iconic building by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was reopened on Saturday with a ceremony.

The architect created the striking building made of glass and steel in the late 1960s as a museum for 20th century art.

Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters (CDU) spoke of a “glamorous return as a place of pilgrimage for modern art lovers and as a stage for contemporary artists”.

The spirit of the building is strengthened

The team of British star architect David Chipperfield completely renovated the museum from 2016 and repaired it for 140 million euros. “Our job was to reinvigorate the spirit of the building,” said Chipperfield. Renovation work remains invisible “as long as we are not mistaken”.

Joachim Jäger, director of the Neue Nationalgalerie, believes that “the visionary building will remain intact even after the renovation”. For Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Chipperfield has laid the groundwork for the renovation of “the most beautiful museum of the 20th century”.

The mayor of Berlin Michael Müller (SPD) recalled the historic dimension of the building. Shortly after the construction of the wall, the Neue Nationalgalerie in West Berlin stood “with the transparent facade for new beginnings and progress, avant-garde and modernity, openness and internationality” .

Sunday exhibitions

The New National Gallery opens its doors to the public this Sunday with three exhibitions. With “The Art of Society 1900-1945”, a permanent exhibition of key works from the Nationalgalerie’s collection of approximately 1,800 works will attract visitors until July 2023.

In the main hall is the exhibition “Alexander Calder. Minimal / maximal »The works of the American sculptor are on view until February 13. Calder (1898-1976) is also linked to the building through his 1965 work “Têtes et Queue”, erected for the opening of the Mies building and which can be found on the museum terrace.

Grütters: “Lack of exhibition space”

With “Rosa Barba. In a Perpetual Now ”is the third exhibition dedicated to the Berlin artist. She also chose a reference to architecture for the arrangement. The steel construction is based on the floor plan of Mies van der Rohe’s ‘country house in bricks’.

For Grütters, the exhibitions, which can only show a fraction of the collection’s holdings, show “a glaring lack of exhibition space”, especially in Berlin as the city of upheavals and upheavals of the 20th century. This is why the 20th Century Museum by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron is currently under construction right next to the New National Gallery, which is also controversial due to the high construction costs of 450 million euros to date. The two buildings must be connected in the basement.